Stories & experiences


New Quitter on Champix-aided Journey

Posted in Hints and tips 01 Mar 2013

Hi Everyone,

I've been a 15-20 cigarette per day smoker for the last 16 years and the time has come for me to quit permanently.  I've never attempted quitting before as my rationalisation was always that I enjoyed it, had no children, was financially stable and was a respectful smoker (I never smoked around others).  I still do enjoy it, still have no children, still am financially stable and still am respectful - I just want a life without cigarettes in it.  I want to be healthy and I can't do that while inhaling a carcinagenic drug every day.  So I'm firm in my decision to quit forever.

I'm on my second day of a Champix prescription and have been lucky enough to not experience any of the side effects that alot have spoken about; like nausea, headaches or strange dreams.  Basically what I wondering is, are there many other people on here that have used Champix and if so, do you have any tips you'd like to share?  Being on my second day, I still have the 'urge' to smoke however I have cut down to around 4 a day.  Is that the right thing to do? 

I am finding that I'm watching the clock more than ever before as I have a very organised personality (to the point where I had scheduled smoking into my day).  I'm finding that even more than any 'urges' to smoke; the alteration of my schedule has been more unsettling.  I am so used to doing everything 'on time' that it is really messing with me.  I've been using positive affirmations and visualisations and trying to focus as much as possible on my work, but my eye still creeps back toward the clock. 

I am an analytical person and I know I'm more than likely just over-thinking this, but any feedback/guidance would be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you very much in anticipation and good luck to you all.

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  • eric , Western NSW March 01, 2013 | 16:23
    so you have decided to quit way to go champix will help you to quit you want to quit so you will as far as the side effects some people don't get any try to change your routine a bit and don't watch the clock, i did a course of champix and stopped smoking after 3 days it is good that you have cut down after 2 days i have not smoked since December 2010 so champix helped me and it will help you just relax and take it easy, well all the best and stay strong.
  • leighdo13 March 01, 2013 | 17:20
    Hey Morty - your posting started off more like a dating site than quitting smoking - LoL. Mmmm - I was 2 packs a day for 35 years and went onto Champix. I was also really worried about all the advertised and talked about side effects. I am on my 37th day of Champix and my 21st day smoke free. I had some nausea in the beginning but taking the tablet after something to eat defintiely helps. I only stopped smoking on my 16th day and my entire being was focussed on counting the minutes, and getting through every hour. It stayed like that for 3 days. My very worst days, for some reason, were day 3, 5 & 7. I handled the so-called nicotine withdrawal much better than trying to master the behavioural changes. When not at work I have a cigarette in my hand all the time. It is instinctive for me to reach out for a smoke like every 20 minutes. Now that I have got this far the people say that giving up smoking is the easy part, staying quit is the hard part. I haven't yet found a day easy. Good luck in your journey.
  • SallyA March 04, 2013 | 17:47
    I also take Champix this is thesecond try...but l am going well almost nine weeks now..l get the urge still but take some deep breaths and l am ok again!
    Do have food before taking Champix it definately helps..l now take only 1 champix a day at around 2pm and that lasts me until the next day...and l smoked for 50 years and smoked 25 a day!!What a waste of money!!!Oh and BTW l haved saved over 900.00..GoodLuck!!
  • siempre1981 March 06, 2013 | 13:30
    HI There.

    I used Champix to quit and am now 56 days smoke free. I had a few of teh side effects to begin with such as strange dreams and a little nausea but only if I didn't take the tablets with food.

    I continued to smoke until day 9 of Champix then just decided I didn't like the taste anymore so just threw away the rest of the pack, my advice is don't have cigarette's there once you decide your day as if you di, you will smoke them even if you don't want.

    Routine is the hardest to change, i stayed away from any alcohol for the first month but now it doesn't bother me to have a drink and not smoke at first it felt like missimg out.

    Change your routine for something else like when you woudl normally take a break at work, then go for a walk or a coffee. At home have a biscuit with your coffee (better than a cigarette).

    I haven't even thought about cigarettes now for a long time and I have been very lucky not to have any cravings at all. I smoked forn 15 years too. 25 a day so good luck!!
  • Morty March 07, 2013 | 9:53
    Thanks very much everyone!

    I've reached day 8 of my Champix prescription now (the higher dosage) and have not smoked for 4 days. I'm feeling surprisingly good and am really surprised that I've been able to abstain without breaking. I found that smoking had lost most of its taste and 'satisfaction' factor by day 3 so that made it a lot easier to stop. Champix had really taken the edge off for me!

    I completely agree with you Siempre1981, the habits are definitely the biggest challenge. I've found that during the day while I'm working, I'm completely fine and basically forget that I'm a smoker. But as soon as I get in the car to drive home - it strikes! Thankfully I've followed SallyA's advice by taking a few deep breaths and reminding myself why I'm doing this and I'm okay again. I've discovered that my willpower is a lot stronger than I thought and I've found a new sense of self confidence that I must have lost somewhere along the way. I know now that I can do this and all doubts to the contrary have disappeared.

    I'm lucky in that I don't drink alcohol or coffee so those are not temptations for me. I've been walking my puppy and playing on Wii Fit instead so I've actually lost a little of weight in the last week. I've found that I'm breathing a little easier already and my sense of smell is starting to return. It;s so rewarding to feel my body healing itself and it gives me perspective on the years I've spent poisoning myself.

    Thanks again everyone, your words of support have been wonderful. I wish you all the very best in your journeys, I know you can do it!
  • HR May 15, 2013 | 16:43
    Hi Morty
    Just like you I've been on 15-20 cig/day for the past 16 or 17 years and I am about to try champix as well.
    I wanted to know how you've been since your Day 1 on Champix... Any second effects? Nausea? On which day did you smoke your last cigarette?
  • Morty May 16, 2013 | 19:02
    Hi HR,
    Good for you for making the decision to quit, I wish you every success on your journey!
    I had my first completely smoke-free day on Day 4 of my Champix prescription as the desire to smoke had completely disappeared for me by then. The actual habit to smoke was still there, but I threw away my cigarette packet, ash trays and lighters so there weren't any visual reminders. It occasionally occurred to me that I should go outside for a cigarette but then I would just remind myself that I didn't smoke anymore and I was fine. You'll probably find that you'll 'remember' to smoke occasionally, but you'll get past it and you'll be fine.
    The side effects were fairly minor for me but I was careful and did my research before taking Champix. I made sure that I ate a substantial meal with each tablet and I never experienced any nausea, so that worked for me. I did find that I was a little restless in bed for the first week or so but that lessened with time (try lavender baths, warm milk, valerian, etc). There were some minor intestinal upsets but I basically put that down to my body acclimatising to not smoking (and I did find myself snacking more frequently - just have healthy snacks around and you won't gain weight, I didn't). Overall I wouldn't let the side effects dissuade you from trying Champix (you may not get them at all).
    I ended up stopping taking the Champix on Day 20 because I simply didn't feel that I needed it anymore. And it turns out that I didn't. I've been smoke free for 74 days and I haven't had any slip-ups. I don't want to smoke and I've gained so much from quitting.
    Sure there's the monetary gain from quitting but there are other gains that are so much better. My lung capacity has increased so I'm able to exercise for longer, which has led to weight loss and increased fitness. My taste buds are recovering so food and drinks taste so much better than they have in a long time. I don't cough anymore and I don't smell like smoke anymore. I feel more confident and so much more capable now because I know I've done something that is really difficult. And with Champix, I felt like I did easily.
    The only downside that I experienced from quitting smoking was that I got spotty skin while my body was flushing out the toxins. It didn't last long and now my skin is better than it was before.
    I know a lot of people have had issues with Champix and it may not be for everyone, but it definitely worked for me. It's not a magic pill - you'll need willpower and a support system, but I know that you can do this because I did. Champix is just there to help.
    HR, you should be really proud of yourself. Good luck!

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